Many homes install an awning to bring welcome shade and shelter during long hot summer days. But like all things, awnings need maintenance to continue looking and working their best. One of the easiest ways to maintain an awning is through a simple cleaning routine to remove debris, bird droppings, mould and mildew which could start to deteriorate your awning if left unchecked.
Simple Steps To Cleaning Your Awning
- Get everything you need ready (ladder, brushes etc)
- Remove the awning canvas from its frame
- Gently brush dirt and debris off the awning
- Soak the awning with water
- Apply a cleaning solution of water and mild soap or mildew remover, like the one you use in your bathroom
- Gently scrub your awning with a soft bristled brush
- Rinse your awning,
- Replace on its frame
- Wait for it to air dry completely before storing or applying fabric protection
What You Will Need To Clean An Awning
Cleaning your awning is easy to tackle when armed with a few basic tools for the task. You’ll need:
- Soft bristled brush
- Large bucket
- Soft cloth
- Mild soap or mildew remover (nothing too abrasive which can remove protective coatings or which contains bleach which can discolour your awning fabric)
Tips For Preparing Your Awning For Cleaning
Before you start to clean your awning, you should prepare the fabric by brushing off any loose dirt or debris from the upper layer of the fabric. It is here that mildew and mould is most likely to grow. Use a broom to brush off any organic matter you see such as dirt, dust, debris, bird dropping, twigs, cobwebs or leaves.
When you have brushed off any debris, you should hose down the awning. This will help get rid of any deep-seated dust that your brushing may have missed. It will also ensure that your cleaning solution is easier to spread.
Tips For Removing Mildew From An Awning
When cleaning your awning, you need to be careful which chemicals you use. Using a bleach based cleaner could result in discolouration. Instead try to use the same mildew remover that you would use in your bathroom.
When you have your cleaning solution you can start to work the cleaner into the canvas. If you are using a spray, you can simply aim the solution over the canvas and use a cloth to work it in. Do not be afraid to keep soaking the cloth, as you want to cover the entire awning.
Once every part of the fabric has been covered, you can let the solution sit for around 15 minutes to give the solution time to kill any mildew.
After sufficient time has passed, start to scrub the awning with your soft bristled brush. You want to work in circular motions to generate suds. Re-apply cleaning solution on any areas that start to dry out.
Once you are certain that you have scrubbed all the mildew from your awning, you should rinse the fabric well. Continue to soak until all dirt and soap has been removed. You do not want to leave any solution on the fabric as it may cause deterioration. If you find any dirt left on the awning, simply repeat the cleaning process until you are sure the job is done.
When the cleaning process has finished and you are happy with the finished product, you should let your awning dry out. Let your fabric air dry on the frame. This should not take long, as awnings are designed to dry quickly after rain. Do not use a dryer to speed up the process. This may lead to your fabric shrinking, making it difficult to re-install.
Tips For Preventing Mould & Mildew Build Up
Preventing mildew and mould build up will reduce the task of cleaning your awning when the time comes. As mould and mildew grow on dust, not on the awnings fabric, the best way to prevent build up is to simply hose down your awning once a month to prevent any dust from building up on top of your awning.
Tips For Awning After Care
All awnings come with a protective treatment that repels water and discolouration. When you clean a fabric, you may wear away some of this layer. This in turn can leave your fabric vulnerable, so you should aim to re-treat your awning after you have finished the cleaning process. You can purchase fabric protection sprays, but be sure to buy a trusted brand. Read reviews and compare different products until you find the right one for you.
Only apply the treatment once the awning is 100% dry, and always read the manufacturers instructions of how to apply the treatment. Make sure you also check your warranty before re-applying the treatment. Some manufacturers will void your warranty if you use a silicon based spray, so speak to your installer before purchase and application.
Cleaning your awning is a simple job that will ensure it continues to look its best and protect it from mildew and mould. We recommend that you clean your awning annually to keep it ready for use in the summer months. For more information on how to clean your awning, or if you would like to speak to a member of our team, please contact Just Awnings on 01932 300450.